Severe weather threat Tuesday: breaking down storm ingredients and potential impacts

NOW: Severe weather threat Tuesday: breaking down storm ingredients and potential impacts

With a 2/5 on the threat tracker, we are continuing to watch a risk for severe weather Tuesday. A strong low pressure system and sharp cold front are on their way, but there are still some factors that could limit our severe impacts.

The most likely time for severe impacts will be this evening, around 7 p.m. through 1 a.m. The greatest threats look to be hail and damaging winds, but isolated tornadoes can’t be ruled out.

All of the ingredients we look for when forecasting severe weather are there, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will see the most severe outcome. If these ingredients don’t come together just right, we won't maximize our severe threat - this could be an all-or-nothing event for our area.

Currently, we have strong convective inhibition or a storm blocking "cap" in place, which is a factor that would limit storms from becoming strong or severe. If this limiting factor holds into this evening, our likelihood for severe weather would go down. If this storm blocking cap erodes throughout the day, an environment favorable for severe storm development would leave us with a greater chance for more significant impacts.

The greatest concern with these storms right now is our chance for large hail. Strong updrafts could result in some hailstones larger than 2 inches in diameter.

Damaging winds is the next greatest threat - a sharp cold front arriving tonight will bring breezy winds this evening into tomorrow. This is our most widespread impact, with all of Michiana expected to see gusts up to 35 mph outside of thunderstorms, but stronger gusts would be likely within storms.

Tornadoes, although less likely, are also possible if our severe threat is maximized. Our atmosphere will have enough helicity (spin) to make the threat of isolated tornadoes non-zero.

There is still a lot of uncertainty and unknowns regarding this storm system with many factors in play. Our risk of severe weather if storms fire is still moderate, but confidence remains low right now.

Download the ABC57 Weather App for updates from our weather team all day long as we continue to monitor this developing system. The app is available for free on Apple or Android devices.

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